Today began the MSBA speaker series. It started off with a bang with the introduction of Carlos Fleming, Partner and Head of the Sports Talent Group WME. Mr. Fleming is a long-time friend of Mr. Sterner, and came in to tell us about his journey to becoming a successful Sports Branding Agent. He deals with a multitude of athletes: negotiating sponsorships for them and helping them make money off the playing field. It was inspiring to hear the success story of a once “normal” guy.
Carlos started off as a tennis player in college. He discovered that his talents may not take him pro, but he did not want to leave the sports scene. This got him to thinking of how he could stay in the sporting industry. He landed on sports marketing for athletes, the position that is described above. He started to explain his process of finding a job, describing each opportunity as a “rabbit hole.” Each sport produces different athletes, different personalities, and different sponsors for those athletes. The point is to venture down each “rabbit hole” and find the one that feels like home. For me, I believe this to be professional football. I hope to develop into a successful sports agent, or an important cog in an NFL team’s personnel department.
Everything that Carlos Fleming shared today uncovers an important lesson: there is so much learning involved in the sporting industry. Everything can be a learning experience; and everything should be treated as one. The most important thing I learned from Mr. Fleming today was to be resilient: take the highs when they come, but withstand the lows when they happen. He taught me to “ride the wave.” Take your experiences and grow from them. Only then will you truly learn what you want out of life; only then will you find your life to be a success.